The Civil Courts Division of the Shelby County Sheriff’s Office is located in the historic Shelby County Courthouse at 140 Adams, Memphis, Tennessee 38103.
The “Old Courthouse” is a national landmark and is placed on the registry of historical landmarks for the State of Tennessee.
Construction of the courthouse began in 1902 and was completed in 1906. The ornate marble walls and floors inside the courthouse are from the original construction. The landmark statues located on the south side of the building stand as a testament to our legal system and enduring American freedom. A complete renovation of the courtrooms that began in 1991 took three years to complete. All of the original courtrooms were reconstructed and finished with beautiful walnut paneling, and clerk offices were constructed with a modern design geared to modern administrative capabilities of computers and modern filing systems in mind.
All Shelby County courts once held sessions within this courthouse, but due to caseload increases in the Criminal Courts Divisions it necessitated the establishment of more criminal courts in the late 1970’s; the Criminal Courts Division was transferred to the new Criminal Justice Complex at 201 Poplar, in 1980.
Presently the Civil Courts divisions in the Shelby County Courthouse consist of: Two (2) Probate – Three (3) Chancery – Six (6) General Sessions Civil – and Nine (9) Circuit Courts. Shelby County is the only county in Tennessee that has a special court designated as a Divorce Referee Court. This special court is in session four (4) days a week and is served by deputy sheriffs. The Divorce Referee is appointed by the Mayor of Shelby County and serves at the pleasure of the mayor's offce. Shelby County has the largest Civil Courts operation in Tennessee.
The primary responsibilities of the Shelby County Sheriff’s Office Civil Courts Division is to provide security for the judiciary, maintain integrity and order inside the courtrooms. Additionally, the division is charged with the responsibility of maintaining the integrity of our jury system; to insure that no party or parties interfere with any jury or to interfere with the dissemination of justice within our legal system.
Through extensive training and job knowledge and dedication to duty, our officers pride themselves with exhibiting the highest standard of professionalism where all persons are treated equally and fairly without consideration to race, religion or cultural differences. The Shelby County Sheriff’s Office under the leadership of Sheriff William Oldham, strives to exemplify the highest standards of pride and law enforcement professionalism in Shelby County, Tennessee.